LAYTON -- Going zero to 80 in three days was not the response Layton Economic Specialist Ben Hart was anticipating when it came to garnering applicants for the city's home buyer down payment assistance program.
But the positive response surge for the free money is one Hart excitedly accepts as it helps put low- to moderate-income families into Layton homes.
"The funds are gone," Hart said of the $35,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds the City Council had made available for the program.
For nearly 2 1/2 years the city has made dollars available for would-be home buyers looking to live in Layton, based on those families meeting Housing and Urban development criteria.
But as of the end of July, Hart said, likely due to home buyers being unaware of the program, the city had yet to receive a single eligible application for the funds that provide home buyers up to $5,000 in down payment assistance.
"A lot of home buyers thought the program had been eliminated," he said.
A front page story published in the Standard Examiner on Sunday, which indicated dollars were available, apparently changed all that.
Hart said he has had anywhere from 60 to 80 inquires on the funds since Monday, and for the last several days all he has been doing is responding to would-be home buyers requesting the funds.
"In three days in August, we did what we weren't able to do the entire month of July," he said, referring to the federal funds the city makes available with few strings attached.
The only conditions in which the money has to be paid back to the city is if the home being bought is not owner-occupied or is resold in less than five years of its purchase date, Hart said.
The money Layton uses for the program is made available to the city through entitlement funds it receives annually from HUD as a result of having a population greater than 60,000 residents.
This year's allotment of funds is used up, Hart said, but funds should be available again next year based on the down payment assistance program receiving City Council approval.